Although she had been ice skating since she was a little girl, Waltham resident Lisa Rockefeller abandoned her passion in high school, eventually moving on to become an electrical engineer.
About five years ago, however, Rockefeller realized that she still belongs on the ice and abandoned her career to become a figure skating and an ice-dancing teacher.
Rockefeller’s decision to return to skating recently paid off. Imagica, the Skating Club of Boston’s adult theater on ice team of which Rockefeller is a member, recently won gold medals at the 2nd Nation’s Cup and the 4thNational Theatre on Ice Competition, according to a press release from the club. The competitions were held April 7 – 10 in Hyannis, according to the press release.
Rockefeller said that while it was an honor to win, she most enjoyed spending time with other adults who enjoy skating and ice dancing.
“To have people to compete with is as exciting as actually winning,” she said. “We really learn so much from the other teams and respect what they’re building from scratch too. It’s nice to win, but it’s more exciting to meet people and share a common love of theatre.”
In preparation for the competitions, the team, composed of skaters between the ages of 23 and 59, met once every week at the Skating Club of Boston to practice for more than an hour, according to Co-Coach Tasney Mazzarino. Before competing in Hyannis, the Imagica team qualified at the 2010 U.S. Theatre On ice National Competition, held in Ohio.
Still, there is a lot more that goes into these contests than time practicing on the ice. Rockefeller said the team works hard during the year to fundraise, choreograph their performances and become familiar with the music. The team also designs and makes their costumes for performances and builds and decorates their scenery. Almost everything is homemade, according to Rockefeller.
“I’m amazed when I think about what everybody puts into this,” she said. “We put so much more in than an hour and 15 a week on the ice.”
The effort results in creative ways. For the national competition held in Ohio, the team performed an act titled “The Leprechaun’s Gold,” according to the press release. In brightly-colored costumes, the team acted out the tale of a leprechaun who gets captured by a group of treasure-hungry men. It is not until the leprechaun escapes, however, that the men find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Although challenging, Rockefeller said skating is a huge thrill. Unlike figure skating, she said theatre does not focus on the precision of skaters’ moves or how they landed after a jump.
“It’s more about how you can use your skating vocabulary to express a theme, a story, an emotion,” she said. “For me, that’s passion and that’s what’s exciting to me about skating.”